OAKLAND -- Jeurys Familia's flight to the Bay Area was at 7 a.m. this morning. He arrived at his new home clubhouse on Sunday for his first game with the A's roughly an hour before first pitch against the Giants.He ended up doing exactly what the A's acquired him to
OAKLAND -- Jeurys Familia's flight to the Bay Area was at 7 a.m. this morning. He arrived at his new home clubhouse on Sunday for his first game with the A's roughly an hour before first pitch against the Giants.
He ended up doing exactly what the A's acquired him to do: pitch in pressure situations and take stress off Lou Trivino and Blake Treinen. Familia threw two scoreless frames in Sunday's 6-5 extra-inning win over the Giants at the Coliseum, keeping the game tied in the ninth and 10th innings before the A's walked it off in the bottom of the 10th.
With both Trivino and Treinen pitching more than an inning in Saturday night's 11-inning win, the A's bullpen was taxed. Trivino struggled through a third of an inning on Sunday, and Treinen was unavailable. So Familia, who the A's acquired from the Mets on Saturday for two prospects and $1 million in international bonus pool money, came just in the nick of time.
"For the first time to be here, I felt really comfortable," Familia said, via an interpreter. "You can see the energy and the excitement in the team and that made me feel really comfortable to be here."
Manager Bob Melvin said that type of performance will quickly endear him to his new teammates.
"When you have that kind of trade, you come to a new team, first impressions are important," Melvin said. "You pitch the way he did, it makes you feel part of the team very quickly and it was terrific."
Treinen threw 40 pitches in two innings on Saturday, pitching another inning after blowing his fourth save of the season in the ninth. Trivino went 1 2/3 innings before pitching again on Sunday.
"That's one of the reasons that you bring in an elite arm like that," Melvin said. "It's not going to be every day that guys are available. A guy with experience closing, certainly today that will be his job."
Familia has 17 saves this season and a 2.88 ERA. He recorded 51 saves in his All-Star season with the Mets in 2016. His addition to an A's bullpen that is a Major League-best 39-0 this season when leading after seven innings takes the load off Trivino and Treinen, who have become one of the premier late-game one-two punches in baseball. Now, with three elite relievers, the A's have essentially shortened games to six innings.
"You don't want to overload these guys, especially a guy like Trivino, who's not used to this kind of workload," Melvin said. "It would be great to have him here, whether it's the eighth or seventh, whatever it may be."
Melvin said he will talk to Familia about his role moving forward, but the reliever isn't too worried about it.
"I'm not really concerned with it," Famlia said. "Whether I pitch the seventh or the eighth or the ninth inning, I just want to help the team win. That's my main goal, is to just help them win."
Familia's new teammates know what they're getting. He said he only knew Yusmeiro Petit and Edwin Jackson before he came to Oakland, but catcher Jonathan Lucroy remembers facing Familia when Lucroy played for the Brewers, and he said it wasn't too much fun.
"This guy is going to fit right in with Trivino and Treinen at the end of the bullpen and on the backside of it," Lucroy said. "He's pretty good. Really, really dominant sinker and slider guy. High velocity guy, so he fits right in with what we got on the back end. It's going to be a lot of fun for me behind the plate. I'm glad I get to be his teammate and not his opposition."
Eric He is a reporter for MLB.com.